The uncertainty that accompanies the no deal Brexit

One of the worst consequences of the Brexit proposal is that nobody knows exactly what is going to happen. What will become of the British living abroad? And of foreigners who have established their home in the United Kingdom? And what will happen if a Brexit is carried out without an agreement? Given this situation, John Hayward, who has lived and worked in Spain for more than 14 years, has established a series of measures that all British citizens living in Spain should start applying.
  • Make sure you are legally residing in Spain under the current regulations. That is, if you intend to live in Spain for more than three months, you must register as a resident in a foreigners’ office or in a police station.
  • Create a dossier with all the necessary documents if you are going to apply for residency, permanent residency or Spanish citizenship. For example, you should keep copies of the certificates of your taxes, bank movements or invoices of the last ten years. Also, make sure your name appears on them.
  • Check your passport is in order and that it will be valid for several months after 29th March 2019.
  • It is better to stay in Spain during the 29th and 30th March 2019.
  • Make sure you have a good supply of your regular medication in case you need it.
  • If you are using a UK driving license, go to get a Spanish license as soon as possible. It is a simple procedure and in most cases you do not need to examine yourself again. In case of a no deal Brexit it is possible that UK license will not be valid anymore in the European Union.
  • Consider changing your bank accounts and investments from the UK to Spain. If they get to approve a no deal Brexit there may be problems transferring that money.


  • Try to have enough cash for two or three months, especially if your income comes from the UK.
  • If you have a personal pension plan in the UK and old enough, maybe you should think about cashing it now. This way you can prevent problems to cashing it later.
  • Look for ways to maximize your income and minimize your expenses, especially if the highest amount of your income is in pound sterling. For this you should create a financial contingency plan.
  • If your business depends on attracting people from the UK, maybe you should change your demographic client, because British citizens may have some troubles circulating in the European Union during the next year.
  • Learn Spanish, especially if you want to apply for residency.
  • Think about applying for Spanish citizenship. Spanish residence may not guarantee the same rights as English citizenship, but at least you will secure a residence and work permit.
  • Also, if your partner is Spanish, you could consider marrying him or her. This could avoid a lot of problems, especially if there are children involve.
  • Get your professional qualifications recognized as soon as possible under the general EU Directive (Directive 2005/36/EC).
  • And, above all, do not panic. All these measures are used to prepare us for the worst possible scenario, but this does not have to happen.


Any questions? If you want to ask John Hayward about thir or any other tax and financial planning matters, you can contact him at or +34 618 204 731.

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